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Help an ex-racer get off the outside ski

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I raced for 8 years ending in 1995. At that time shaped skis hadn't hit the race scene yet and I was taught to carve on big skis. In the late 80's coaches were having us weight more of the inside ski for slalom, but I never really took well to it. In GS, which approximates free skiing more, we were always told to just weight the outside ski and even drilled using the old "pick up the inside ski and cross it over" technique.

Fast forward to today, I'm out of the technique loop, but ski on 'kinda' shaped K2 El-Caminos (4 geometry), and now this season Merlin V's. I still feel strange with the inside ski bearing any weight throughout the turn. I want to drive the outside leg 100%. Any good drills or thoughts? Thanks!
post #2 of 20
I too went through the same phase. Try skiing on the uphill outside edge of your ski. Then go back to both skis and just roll your ankles and look(turn your head)toward the direction you are turning. Another good movement is after your into your turn drop that uphill hip into the turn. Keep a wide stance too. Do this on the bunny hills where you have plenty of room and at low speeds. Hope it helps you. It worked for me.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 08, 2001 01:28 PM: Message edited 1 time, by slider ]</font>
post #3 of 20
I'm still not convinced that there should be so much focus on two footed skiing. I'm from a racing backround as well. I pretty well came up through the shaped ski movement.

I still have a hard time believing that any racer is skiing with equal weight on both skis. I think that the inside ski has only enough presure to make it turn on it's own. Not that both skis are actually being worked. I think that the only time the inside ski comes into play is when the skier looses his balance and is forced to shift his weight.

Second,I think that what is called two footed skiing is achieved simply by having good stance (legs apart. I still can't comprehend HH's narrow stance idea). I don't think that it is a concous choice by a skier to ski on two skis, but that when it happens it happens because of the position that the skier is in when he looses his outside ski. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me two footed skiing is achieved as the result of a skiers stance and his natural reaction.

No studies or big names to back this up just an analysis of what I feel when I ski.
post #4 of 20
yes, most of the highest level guys can rail both skis these days. It allows for more working edge on hard snow, but the real payoff is off piste. To make clean carves in crud, powder,etc. the inside ski must be able to match the edge angle of the outside and be able to take some of the weight as the outside ski starts to sink.
From the release of the old outside ski, we work on intitiating the edge change by rolling that new light ski toward it's little toe edge. this draws the new outside ski onto it's new edge and into the turn. As you engage this new outside ski and begin to ride the shape, the light, but similiarly edged inside ski is avail. to take some weight. Depending on the snow and the objective of the turn, add weight to this little toe edge as needed (to stabilize, to keep the G's on the outside ski from overloading the snow, etc.)

So, that's a little of why, as far as exercises. Skiing the flats with an emphasis on clean carves (absolutetly now skidding), with both little toe and big toe edges is good practice. Also, little toe only turns (once again in the flats) is a good excercise. (the mahers used to call this the feel bad turn) Get that, and try one footed carves in the flats. You want a quite upper body and try to make the edge change happen a close to the ski as possible. If your alignment is close to right, you should learn to do these drills with no activity of the upper body. Focus on rolling the feet. The feet and ankles can do most of the work, with feet and hips following the lead. Sometimes big upper body moves are helpful in feeling it for the first time, but beware of large moves like mentioned in the reply above. Large countering, see picture above, is something you have to unlearn later if you want to have more versatility. Anytime we make a large move up high (away from the skis) it takes more time and energy to undo that move to get into the next turn.
Anyway, hope that helps. It's a somewhat advanced drill line, but your years of racing and experience led me to believe it could be the right level.


post #5 of 20
In changable snow conditions there is a clear advantage to being more two-footed, but its also easier to learn in such conditions. On groomed and/or firm snow, certainly there are many athletes using a more equalized stance for various reasons. However there is nothing "wrong" with staying primarily on the outside ski, and after all - since the centripetal force "pulls" towards the outside of a turn, the force more naturally lines up over the outside leg. Saw video of Tomba doing a "celebrity" type appearance at a glacier race camp this summer . . . couldn't help but notice that the guy still skis *not bad* on that outside leg.

Do what make you happy and is fun, if you want to learn a new tecnique because you enjoy the challenge than by all means do it - otherwise I would recommend you just smile, rip it up, and not worry about it! :
post #6 of 20
Additional thought,
one of the easiest ways to get the intitial feeling a two footed carving is with short very shaped skis. Even snowblades help teach the sensations.

I also agree with Todd, skiing on the outside ski is still a solid position, but it doesn't totally unlock the ability of the new toys. As far a Tomba's turns. He could also ski that same run on little toe only and the overall picture would look similiar. I'd put my money on him to win the celebrity thing on one ski only, making one footed carves on both edges. Balance on the inside little toe edge has always been a solid developemental skill. cheers, Holiday
post #7 of 20
Holiday's mention of super short skis definately is true to my experience. When we were first starting to play around more with two footed turns in the race course some years back (of course we already did it in the powder) I also tried some "Snow Blades" for the first time. The inside ski is *frighteningly* unstable unless you add more weight to it on those things. Especially in skidding turns such as when coming to a stop, its a very quick lesson in the potential advantages of two footed turns. And of course as lengths are coming down . . . they are getting closer to the snow blades in this regard.

Another exercise for this is skiing on one ski. As part of my morning warm up every day I used to ditch a ski at the bottom of the lift and ride up with one ski. Then ski down usually a blue groomer 1/2 way down the mountain on one leg, then stop and swap for the other 1/2. You really learn how to trust the "wrong edge" of the "wrong ski" very quickly that way . . . and it made tremendous improvements in my balance and recovery skills to boot.
post #8 of 20
I like the activities Holiday suggests. We call the big toe/little toe pure carves on the flats "railroad tracks" because if you do them right that is what the tracks look like. A good visual cue to have an observer look for is that your skis are equally edged (lower leg shafts parallel). If you lead by driving onto the big toe (traditional habit) you will show an a-frame or tucked in outside knee hindered by a passive inside foot/leg. Leading by rolling the inside foot onto its little toe side will create a leading "shape" of the inside leg that the outside will match without extra effort if the inside foot remains edgaged (felt as torquing of the foot inside the boot, even as that foot lightens). On the flats you may feel 50/50 to 60/40 weight distribution but as you add slope pitch, roundness, and speed there will be a strong natural (if you allow it) weight transfer to the outside ski from turn dynamics (but keep the inside foot torqued). One change that helps on shape skis is to (instead of extending up before the edge change) flex the outside leg as you release the edge, allowing a "down and across" feeling through the edge change with the extension comming "after" the edge change as the body moves inside the feet on a shorter path. This eliminates a prolonged flat spot in the edge change (a waste of shape ski technology), re-engages the edges sooner, also the extension after the e/c pressures the new edges sooner promoting carving (vs tail displace skid) into the falline to maximaze acceleration. Good long and strong legs at the falline also sets you up to soften them to manage pressure thru the finish as the carving arc brings the skis back around to pass under you thru the next e/c. The RR-tracks on the flats is one of the very best practice activities because you are going slow enough to feel and experiment with cause and effect. Never waste a flat, do a zillion miles of them. Once you change the sequence of your movements and get more precise thru practice, your shape skis will be arc'n. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 20
According to Steve Porino (Ex DH racer),
-Tests done on Von Gruenigen in GS show that he enters the turn with an even weigth distribution,weigth shifts to the outside ski as we near the apex (70% on the outside ski).Flatter part of the course,more even weight dist. ,steeper part of the course,more or all weigth on the outside.

IMHO,anybody can carve railroad tracks on modern equipment...until we get to the steeps.It takes a lot of leg strenght to carve the steeps without your speed going out of control.Carving is FAST,you need tight turns which mean high G´s,which require high inclination,angulation and a loaded outside ski.
Most people "skarve" the steeps without realizing it,but tracks don´t lie,if it´s not pencil thin you are skidding...which is perfectly acceptable by the way.
post #10 of 20
Holiday....Large countering, see picture above, is something you have to unlearn later if you want to have more versatility.

Could you be a little more specific about upper body countering? It seems to help me get the skis around faster at higher speeds and steep terrain.
post #11 of 20
TRy to keep the whole body over the skis, hips, shoulders all of it. This means not keeping the upper body looking downhill but instead looking the same direction as the ski tips. Second, stop tip leading, bring that uphill ski to the same place as the down hill ski. Concentrate on pulling that uphill foot back. The position of the hips is really the key to this. It aint easy man, Ive been working on this stuff for 2 years. It is like unlearning all you learned before ( upper body facing downhill) but it works wonders.
not easy to teach via computer man. :
post #12 of 20
Yeah, if you are going to put weight on that inside ski, you really need to keep it even with the outside ski. If you dont,you are in the backseat on it, and it won't turn right.
post #13 of 20
I asked Steve Porino a question about the so-called "new" technique,they were supposed to post this at the Q&A section of ski racing mag website www.skiracing.com but they haven´t so i hope Mr Porino won´t mind my posting his answer here...

"I very much see your point. I think it's easy to get caught up in the semantics
of this topic: Is it really &quot;new&quot; or are we talking

I'll tell you this. If you took a World Cup racer with the used to their current
equipment and then stuck them (without a chance to adapt) on a pair of skis
without any sidecut, say a pair that's seven or eight years old, they'd all but
fall over in the first turn. Does this mean they need to change their technique?
Certainly they have to modify their movements, timing, inclination, anticipation
and that sort of thing. But has the book of technique been rewritten, or are we
just better able to do what we've been talking about for so long because the
equipment actually works today.

Here are some changes I see going...call them what you will.

Both skis stay on the snow. Coaches and athletes are working on this all the
time. This philosophy has been around for some time, but it's only modern
equipment that allows you to really do it. The goal is for both skis to have the
same edge angles. One, so the inside ski doesn't chatter and chisl away at the
snow. Of course, that's a speed thing. I don't know that it matters in a
recreational setting. Racers also feel constant snow contact provides a more
&quot;grounded&quot; stance -- easier to initiate, easier to recover, more
constant control. When, for instance, these short slalom skis come off the snow
it's the first sign that trouble will follow.

Weight distribution is another topic altogether. Studies show that it changes
throughout the turn. They've done tests with Michael von Gruenigen in GS that
suggest his weight is relatively evently distributed in the initiation, and as
he approaches the apex the weight goes more to the outside ski to the point
where it's more of a 70/30 distribution. Flatter courses the distribution is
more even, steeper courses it's the opposite.

I'd agrue that the need for tip lead (I take that to mean the inside ski is
ahead of the outside ski) is not so much an intentional act but necessity,
particularly on modern equipment. When there is no inclination/angulation the
skis are parallel. Deep in the turn, the inside ski is further ahead of the
outside ski far more than it ever was in the past. The edge angles being
generated on modern equipment MANDATE that the inside ski be ahead of the
outside ski. No doubt you've seen pictures of Maier with his butt nearly on the
ground and the downhill ski fully loaded. You can't do that with your feet

Angulation and counter-rotation still exist, but I say in lesser degrees. You
don't see a lot of Stien Erickson angles out on the World Cup or single cranked
in knee I picture Phil Maher in. But people that rotate still skid, people that
lean in still fall.

I'd also agree that there is less up unwieghting. In fact, many slalom skiers
are adopting a very low stance which helps them keep their skis on the snow and
react to the rebound of the new skis. It aslo helps them to generate high edge
angles in a shorter period of time, whereas vertical movments slow that process

Mind you all of this is done with the intent of go faster. I'm not sure how
important it is for an intermediate skier to learn in a less how to carve with
both skis or to stay low so they can intitiate the next turn more quickly.
That's, perhaps, a much more complicated question."

Thanks Mr.Porino!
post #14 of 20
Didn't mean to knock your photo, just using it as an example. There has been a couple of good answers to your question above, but I'll add a little.

First off, from a idealistic point of view, movements that happen closer to the snow have a more positive effect on ski snow interaction. So your using a large hip and upper body counter (meaning the hips and shoulder (and head) are more open then the direction the skis are headed) to get your you cm inside and create the angles to hold the g's of the turn. that works, as you can feel, but if your facing your direction of travel more squarely, you can use your feet more effectively and move more seamlessly from arc to arc. As stated above, this idea is tough to work without a visual, (but all ideas seem tough for me without a visual).
Example, when we first started skiing the really shaped skis, I used this high counter and hip angulated positon to get my ass to drag on the snow (that was all the rage for a minute in time). But by working the angles from the feet, then ankles, then up the kinetic chain, and staying more square, much higher edge angles were possible with less gross movements to get from one turn into the next. I'm getting lost, so I image you may be too, but I'll finish by saying, try to create the same feeling your getting from your skis, but try to keep your hips more square and your upper body less involved with the activity. If you look at Dr. GO's post of who dat? You can see a fairly good image of this idea from rob butler.
Anyway, I think I might have hacked this explanation, but I've been in that mode today (bulletproof rain crust with a dusting on it beat up on my confidence today). Hope it helps a little.
post #15 of 20
I've always been able to take the heat.
That's why I posted the image. Nothing like a free ski lesson. Thanks all of you for the top notch advice. Looks like next week I'll be working on some improvements in my skiing.
Didn't mean to horn in on your thread k2chad.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 09, 2001 02:32 PM: Message edited 1 time, by slider ]</font>
post #16 of 20

Weight distribution has not changed alot over the last ten years. We are still balancec on the outside ski. What is different is that the best skiers in the world are much more square in the way that they are aligned during the turn.

The primary reason for this is to limit the amount of tip lead with the inside ski. In order to take advantage of the modern shaped skis we need to have the tips of both skis engaged through out the turn. The inside foot needs to be pulled back in order to engage the tip.

we used to talk about feeling the tail of the ski during turn completion. Not true anymore. We need to stay neutral or slightly forward in order to let the tip continue to draw us into the turn.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great replies!!
We used to do "bad-side" or uphill-ski turn drills a lot. And coaches always had us do the take off one ski trick too. I am very comfortable on the uphill edge, but only when it is committed by itself. I am going to try some of these drills on the flats (though it's more of a thought process really). I'm not out to be the fastest one down the hill anymore, but a little brush up on the 'new' technique is always good!
By the way...How do they teach young racers these days? I learned the 'old' fundamentals of big unweights, outside ski, complete the turn, etc. Do they still teach this way? I know when some of the J-turn slalom skis came out in the 90's it was a whole new way of looking at finishing and starting the turn. So I imagine with my fundamental base I should be able to weight my uphill ski some more too then.
post #18 of 20
K2chad: Based on the background you've presented it sounds as though you like to ski aggressively and fast. It's obvious that you have had a great deal of race training. So hear are couple of thoughts.

First you said that you're not comfortable on two skis with relatively equal turning forces and movements applied to each simultaneously. You also said that you want to apply 100% edge engagement to the outside ski and let the inside ski go along for the ride.

Based on your training I'm assuming that your stance width varies with the terrain and conditions on demand as you wish.

The first thing I want you to try is to come back off the expert terrain to the open lower wide groomers and ski very slowly, in a very open stance, say 12 inches or so. Then I want you to try to simply tip both skis simultaneously and ride them around the corner. Do this many times in each direction until you feel more comfortable with weight on each ski throughout the turn.

Be sure to keep your upper body movements very quiet when practicing, so as not to create any movements, which would offset the turning forces of your feet.Also be sure to keep your stance open. This will force you ski both skis more equally and if you don't, then either the inside or outside ski will drift in its own direction. Now as you get comfortable increase your speed slightly to improve rhythm and flow from turn to turn. Next check your tracks to see that you do have a two tracked edge engagement with no skidding. This is called the railroad tracks exercise. Now ski these same turns without ski poles.

Finally you should be getting more solid on both feet. Now you will ski the 1000 steps turn exercise on the same terrain. During the 1000 steps turn exercise you will ski medium radius turns while continuously stepping from ski to ski slightly uphill and across diagonally from one to the other.You will do these stepping movements all the way around the corner of each turn with NO traverse and flat spot in between turns. You must be continuously moving your Center of Mass in a diagonally forward motion to succeed. Keep the steps small and it will be easier to do. Also pick a focus downslope and keep your hips facing its direction throughout each turn.

If you're not able to ski two footed now you're never going to loose the old habbit. Good Luck.
Whtmt : :
post #19 of 20
k2chad- Get some snow blades and spend the morning on them then put on your regular skis. Just ski around by tipping both blades and play around with different weight distribution on the inside leg to see what works best for you. Then go back and ski your skis' the same way. You may find you really don't have to have much weight on the inside ski at all you just need to be very active in tipping and guinding it to pull the outside ski from turn to turn, this activity will get enough pressure to it. Keep bending the inside ankle so to keep it from squirting to far out in front of the outside. have fun!
post #20 of 20
Chad, the fundamentals are still unchanged. For young racers(I'm not saying anything about pros). You're trying to get them to roll the edges and be smooth rather then doing big unweights(that's not to say that unweighting does not exist in racing. See "how to watch ski racing on tv" post).

Still outside ski focused and a little counter so as to be able ot ski on the outside. And turn completion is still big.

However trun shape has changed alot. No more J-turns. New turn shape is the opposite of a J-turn where you are loading the ski at the top of the turn instead of the bottom. If you get a chance to watch a few races you'll see that SL and GS are really close these days.
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